Council is conducting a review of its grants program to ensure its effectiveness and value to the community.

Mayor, Cr Brian Hood, said that Council awards a significant number of grants throughout the year, including Community Grants, in addition to grants for Artisan Agriculture, Biodiversity, Events and Climate change projects.

“We’re looking for feedback on what our community thinks of the process to access grants and whether there are any improvements that will make the application process easier. We want to hear from people or groups who have applied for or received grants, and even those that may not know much about our grants program,” said Cr Hood.

Council currently provides $65,000 annually for Community Grants of up to $2,500 for community projects that align with the Council Plan under the headings of Active and engaged communities, Quality community infrastructure, Sustainable environment, Children’s program and Charitable purposes.

Council provides grants of up to $5,000 to support environment groups for work to protect and enhance the natural environment.

Larger grants are available through the Towards Zero scheme to support to non-profit organisations for community projects to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in community facilities.

Council administers Artisan Agriculture Project grants on behalf of Ararat, Ballarat, Golden Plains, Hepburn, Moorabool, and Pyrenees Shires in a program funded by the Department of Agriculture. The aim of the program is to build capacity of artisan agriculture producers in the Central Highlands Region.

Community feedback will inform a review of the grants program. Council wants to ensure that the program is meeting community expectations and is managed efficiently.

Community members and groups are encouraged to visit and complete a short survey. The survey closes on Tuesday, 13 December 2022.